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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Ready Or Not.

So, I am home again today - I plan on going back to work tomorrow - there is only so long you can stay in the  house and cry. I hate this - I feel restless, I cry, I pick things up and put them down again. But I did sleep some last night and that helped. We obviously have had dogs die before, but never like this and never so terribly and so fast.That is what's throwing us - there was no time. No time to say goodbye, no ice cream dinners or favorite snacks, she could not even tolerate one of her beloved biscuits. Rueben is at loose ends, he is either under the bed or restless. I came downstairs to find Molly's collar on the floor with him sniffing it frantically. Why, yes I would like to have another crying jag, thank you for asking. There is no way to explain to him what happened and I'm sure he'll be looking for her, he already is.  But life does go on and we will have to go on without her. 

During this we had all sorts of things running in the background - did I mention that on Saturday morning as Molly was struggling and we were trying to find somewhere to take her the septic alarm went off? One of the pumps failed - here they have systems that have 3 tanks with pumps and floats. I won't go into the mechanics of it but if the pump does not pump the tank does not empty. David ended up just shutting off the breaker to make it stop - frantic situations are always more fun with an alarm in the background, aren't they? And Kim's birthday - it was and I had everything ready. She's still working to control her blood sugars so I had done a lot of research and planning to have a worthy but sugar free, low carb celebration.  She of course told me to stop worrying and apologizing, I said we could do it Sunday, Monday, next week, maybe Monday.....she just readily agreed with all 59 alternate plans I came up with. I love her. David got ahold of the septic guy and he said we should be ok til Monday since he didn't want to have to charge us a big emergency fee for nothing - just don't run the washer, etc.. So here I was Sunday with a dying dog vomiting and losing bowel control - I had blankets and towels piled all over, desparate to keep her clean and comfortable, we went through half a dozen towels, two dog beds, blankets.....and then she was gone. 

But yesterday the septic guy was here first thing and I started the first of many loads. We also did have Kim's birthday finally -  I found a beautiful herb encrusted cheese which I served with brown rice crackers,a very dry red wine, I made vegetarian pizza with cauliflower crust, and for dessert Blackberry Cheese Blintzes with whipped cream and water melon served on the side. 100% sugar free and so low carb Kim's blood sugar didn't budge. Having her and Steve over helped a lot, they brought thier tiny dog with them which gave Rueben some distraction. Last night was hard, it is so weird not to be fighting Molly for bed space or to wake up with her head resting on my side. But it will get better as the days go on and I am still so grateful her suffering was so short. I miss you Molly girl. 

Monday, June 1, 2020

The Story Of Us

I met you in 2013, January. Our Pearl had recently passed and weren't looking for another dog, but Matt sent us your picture and we fell in love. David drove out to Ohio to get you, Stephanie and Justin had fostered you, they told us you'd been neglected and had never lived inside - you still had a lot of social issues and they were not sure how you'd react to our cats. You loved David immediately, on the long drive to home you rested your head on his shoulder - that adoration lasted for 7 years. My first memory is Reuben happily dancing around so excited for his new friend while you stood head down and shaking, you had no idea what to do. It took awhile to adjust and things that needed to be learned - no revenge pooping if we didn't get up fast enough to your liking, no eating the cat or eating straight out of the dog foodbag - which by the way you did up to the end, I would see you munching away unapologetically if I didn't close the bag. For a while you refused to listen to me - one day you took off across the street with me yelling to come back - circling around Ed's house with Rueben thinking this was the best game ever. I had to make some poor man sit in his truck while I chased you around the street  with Reuben trailing behind me like a jet stream- he did not seem to mind though and I'm sure we were an amusing story over dinner that night. 

But every day things got better- Reuben was the best friend from day one, you grew to love the cat in a non-culinary way. You became so brave I could walk you off leash in the park - and how much I loved you. We ended up giving you your own pillow in the bed,a constant companion. At night after dinner while I sat on the couch and knitted your favorite thing to do was to lay with your head pressed against my leg or your head in my lap - as long as we were together you were alright. You loved being hugged, kissed and petted endlessly - you were the bellyrub champion and we saw that pink belly quite often! But Molly, you were not perfect - you would bark if breakfast was not served in what you believed was a timely manner(when your eyes opened). You were a Poo-connoisseur of the best kind and managed to roll in cat, deer, cow and even bear poo - we had to ride home with the windows down that day, you were so proud of yourself. You didn't like David talking on the phone if he was supposed to be playing with you, so you'd bark and howl til David would shut himself in another room, brat. You occasionally tore things up, but overall you were the best. Reuben and you were so close from day one, for seven and a half years you have never been apart - I have no idea what he will do without you.
Friday you were fine. 

I will not go into the details again but from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon was nightmarish - I am still trying to figure out how. How could you go from being Molly to being in such distress? The pain medication did not work, you started vomiting bile and I could tell you had a GI bleed somewhere. We tried so hard to hang on but as I was washing you off so gently  I could tell you could not go on any further. Your face was so strained, you could no longer stand, my heart just clenched in my chest. The vet was so sweet with you - and us. We had to wear masks but no one even suggested to stay in the car, for that I will be forever grateful. The vet gave you a dose of anesthesia first and within a few minutes your face!, your face relaxed back into my beloved Molly. The pain was gone and you put your head on your paws, just like you always do when you're dreaming. I knew right then this was the right decision no matter how badly I wanted to bundle you up and take you home. Home, with me - the person who loved you beyond measure. David and I spoke to you, David told you would always be his girl, we kissed you goodbye. The vet came back and as we held you she put you to sleep. A day and a half Molly, not even two days and you are gone from us. And here we are, reeling with the swiftness that you left. I hope you are running the gamelands waiting for your beloved Rueben to join you in the chase - I miss you so much Molly. 

Sunday, May 31, 2020


So I'm sure you're all wondering what happened - we are still trying to wrap our heads around it too.Molly has been fine - she'd started having a little trouble with her back legs getting up stairs and on the bed, we were watching it and thought we'd get her to the vet if it continued. But aside from that, she and her partner in crime participated in The Great Garter Snake Hunt on a daily basis, shared toast with David in the morning - fine. Friday we were out in the yard when David got home from work, Molly did what she always does which is run straight at him veering off at the last minute, he obliged by chasing her around yard while she kicked up her heels zig-zagging  around him. Our usual routine at night where everyone gets a biscuit -Molly did what she does everynight, dances with it into the living room - for some reason even after 7 years that is the highlight of her day. 7 years. 
The next morning something woke me up early, I assumed one of them had to go out - Molly had a very large accident by the front door and she was now laying on the floor next to David's side of the bed panting. She was barely able to walk, wouldn't eat - we waited til 8am and called the vet. They were booked and suggested we take her to the ER vet in Vancouver, an hour away. We loaded her up and got there around 9:30, due to the COVID they come out to you and take your pet in, the doors shut behind my Molly and all I could think was how scared she must be without me. After 3 and a half hours of waiting the vet called - he wanted to do Xrays and bloodwork so we said go ahead and headed back home, poor Rueben had been in all day. The vet called around 3:30pm - the bloodwork showed an infection which was treatable, the X rays showed a very large mass which he said they could not fully diagnose without a full work up but it was most likely a very aggressive cancerous tumor - her best outlook was a poor prognosis. I told him I wanted to bring her home so I drove back to Vancouver to get her - they gave me strong pain meds and an antibiotic and off we went. We will be putting her to sleep in the next day or two, the medication only works at the high dose, she won't eat or drink and only gets up to go to the bathroom. She is vomiting bile. 

So, just like that we are saying goodbye and it feels like my whole universe is tilted. It is heart wrenching, especially since not two days ago she was running around, playing with Rueben, barking at the cat to Get In Here Now, our Molly. I have no idea what Reuben will do without her, they have been inseperable since the day she arrived on his sunny shores - they have never been apart. Rueben and Molly sleep touching each other every night, what will he do? What will I do? He is currently under our bed, I can hear his soft whines when I say his name - this is so hard, so terrible. I know once she is past her suffering we will move on, watching her is what is making this so hard, but I know having to really let her go will be harder. . 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Eleven Months In

Can you believe it - we have lived here for eleven months. Eleven months since we packed up our belongings and pets, taking the 5 day drive clear across the country from Pennsylvania to Oregon to arrive here. Rather fittingly it is once again unseasonably warm just as it was the day we arrived. The difference is that the windows are no longer painted shut and the house doesn't reek of cat pee. The house is not recognizable at all from when we first arrived. The airconditioner is cooling, I'm looking out a wall of windows to my garden benches, it is lovely. It's about 85% done at this point, David is working hard on the Astoria house and after that goes on the market will finish this up. And most of what needs to be finished is cosmetic, spackling here, painting there. I stripped the oak inserts in the kitchen and hallways a couple of weeks ago, David wants to see if he can get them a bit further along before I stain them. 

The state remains locked down, we still video chat with the granddaughters which can be  hard, they always ask to come to NanaPoppop house and it's hard to tell them no. But Washington is starting to reopen in phases so we should be able to see them by this summer. And the good thing is because I can't go anywhere I'll have over 2 weeks of vacation saved. We see Kim and Steve every weekend observing social distancing, annoying but necessary.  And I have to say it has been so wonderful to celebrate birthdays and holidays with friends and family, Kim has always been a sister to me - now I see her every week! 

Other than work and the weekly visit we are home. David and I read quite a bit, thank goodness for our ereaders or we'd be peeking at each other over stacks of books. For David's birthday I bought him the last two books of the Memory man series he's been enjoying - ebooks are difficult to give as presents, it's like giving a ghost and certainly looks less impressive. So he got a lovely set of windchimes and two pretend books, he was more than happy with it. Delilah and Chloe video chatted with him with Delilah giving a 5 minute list of all the Birthday Things he needed including Birthday Food, a Birthday Tutu (she demonstrated hers for him) A Birthday Cake, etc..... it was a very long list. We're planning once the state reopens that they will come down, Uncle Steve and Aunt Kim will come over and we'll just have one big birthday celebration. 

So. A year. An entire year in a new job, a new house, a new state. Amazing. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Ten Months In, Closing On A Year!

So this virus has put a bit of a damper on things, we once again spent a special day peering in an 8 inch screen at the twins while they showed off thier royal capes and pink spa masks. And yes, they are enjoying pretending  and are quite good at it. One of the things we most looked foward to was being able to spend holidays and time with them, but - this is not forever. And in the grander scheme of things we have spent more time with them in the past ten months than we have in the past 4 years. They truly know us, I enjoy being called NanaPoppop when they're speaking to both us, I'm guessing it's a time saver. And I have to say if I could pick a time of year to be quarentined this would be a good one - at least it's not cold and we are not stuck in the house. Brandi makes sure she videos everything and shares it online, thank goodness for technology. My family Zoomed a gathering - it was fun seeing everyone but I can see we need some practice. We are not doing anything for Easter, since I've been working on diet and exercise for the past 3 weeks  I gave myself a day and bought a limited amount of candy, once it's gone it's gone.

We still see Kim and Steve, but we strictly observe social distancing and so far so good. Kim made me a cloth face mask which I plan on wearing FOREVER. On one of my last trips to see the girls we stopped in a store and I bought 4 applicaes of Our Lady of Guadalupe - she is one of my all time favorites - and gave them to Kim. I was musing over something and then thought it would be awesome if I had a facemask with Our Lady on it. Kim is an excellent seamstress  and an even better friend, I probably have the most best facemask ever! We don't get to spend too much time with them but with the good weather outside is not too hard and we make it short, the car ride there and back is fun and we get out of the house at least! 

Kim has been doing what we've all been doing, hauling every bit of crap out from every corner of the universe and sorting it out, donating, etc....  I think at the end of this we will all have the cleanest, barest houses we've ever had. David continues to work on the Astoria house, he has been making great headway since there's not much else to do, is there? I've been doing a bit of sorting - my clothes are all neatly folded and are stacked according to color, I've cleaned out and rearranged the kitchen, the bathroom, the shelves in the den,........ I finished knitting the socks yesterday and am now working on Project #2 while Project #3 waits in line. We are both wearing out our ereaders, tablets, phones, the charging station is constantly in use! 

I'm out in the yard a lot too, I've finally cleared almost all the marion berry vines from the 3 pine trees in the yard, you can finally see them! The vines are as bad as the red vines in Pennsylvania - long wicked thorns that seem to rip through even my leather palmed gloves. I'm forever prying them out of my hands and forearms, my ankles look like I've been attacked by vampiric squirrels most days. The vines are tough and wrap around everything - they can grow up to 12 (or more) feet and the heavily thorned vines make it all the harder. I usually strip a section, get a good grip and then haul it as hard as  I can. I can only pull one or two vines at a time so it's been slow going - but it IS going. I got the spot where the trash was the worst cleared and turned for the most part, still have not decided what I want to plant there. If I dawdle around much longer the grass might come back and then it will be problem solved. They are projecting our office will be reopened to the public by May 4rth, I hope so. I would like to get back to real life!

Friday, April 10, 2020

The Quarentine Doldrums

Today we drove out to the tulip farm since we are very limited with entertainment choices. I checked to make sure it was open (it was), it's not too far away either. The pictures turned out to be more entertaining than the actual doing it - All the fields were closed to the public but one, the building was closed so I could not buy bulbs. But since we made the trip we got on line as only 10 people were allowed in the field at one time, I didn't see any employees so I guess we were on the honor system.  It was a 20 minute wait but we got in, the flowers were beautiful, there was a UPick section but we didn't have anything smaller than a 20 and picking 40 flowers....nah.   It was nice to get out - the sun is out and it's in the 60's, a bit breezy for my taste, a lovely spring day. Glad we went early as the line wound around the parking lot when we left. 

We had a little shopping to do, we did our big shopping trip last week so for the next weeks it will be odds and ends. It was around 1 so we stopped at Fred Myers - packed! David and I have been very good on the social distancing and staying home, neither of us are wearing masks and gloves as it's rural out here, staying 6 feet away is not a hardship - usually. Then I remembered tomorrow is Easter, did you forget too? That is the hardest part of this - we had to cancel our plans with Brandi and the girls. It would have been our first Easter with them, as we had to video chat thier birthday last month it was especially disappointing. We had planned on having them come down here for the holiday and inviting Kim and Steve, sigh. It will be another holiday of peering into a screen to see that they liked what we sent. What I sent was Princess Capes, absolutely hilarious straight out of disney Velvet Royal Gear with fur trim and a hood - I'm hoping they'll love them. I was secretly envying it, and no, they do not come in an adult size. We bought them a gift as they don't need too much candy and they really don't need another stuffed animals, they're usually up to their eyeballs in them. 

My job has been kind of funky, most of my time is spent with the clients in thier homes, doing assessments, etc... Not being able to do home visits has thrown a monkey wrench of epic proportions into the works so now I'm being given 16 different jobs to fill my hours. Sigh. I'm just hoping it will not turn into too big of a mess, been there and done that in the past so it's stressing me out a (lot) bit. Things feel so scattered lately, I'm sure I'm not the only one picking things up and putting them down, starting to dust then halfway through sorting through clothes. I have 3 knitting projects going, none of them finished so today I am finishing the socks, then I will be down to two - for now. I am still mulling over planting, ugh. I look at plants, think about it, leave, look at plants, think about it, leave....... I cannot decide if  I want to plant small bushes or ground cover or flowers......... I guess I'd better decide soon, it will be winter before I do anything at this rate..

Friday, March 27, 2020

Solitary Confinement

Ah yes, the thing we are most tired of and yet cannot stop talking about - Oregon is under confinement(you can call it what you like, that's what it is). I mean technically you won't go to prison but if you're seen consorting you'll get your ass talked about on Cowlitz County Bulletin Board. My favorite was people raging about those That Refuse To Stop Touching Each Other and one woman posted "I saw a group of people playing GOLF and I just wanted to yell at them Go home you filthy animals!". I am praying that if Nancy makes her way here before moving back to KingCharlesWorld I can take her to a golf course because I will yell that at her all day. Hell, she doesn't even need to be on a golf course. Sitting here and thinking about it  I might just yell that randomly. Kim and Stephen did come over last week before the Giant Lock Up, it was fun. We had a nice lunch - I made Vegetarian Pizza from my own recipe and then I formally presented her with a Used Mixer. 
David and I went to an estate sale a few weeks ago on the last day(not on purpose, but that's a whole other story), I bought some nice cut glass wine and beer glasses, we got a cement garden bench for $12, a few odds and ends. You do have to be careful, as I've said before it's not a bargain if you can't use it - but that's sometimes hard to remember when you see an inflatable fishing boat with a motor - even if you don't fish. Anyhoo, I spotted a large Cusinart Mixer in a plastic bin pushed under a table and pulled it out. It looked almost brand new, had all the blades and even a splatter guard for the 5.5 quart bowl. It was marked $50 (new they are $275), but you know me. David called to the person running the sale who called back since it was the last day - everything was 50% off!!And she showed us a place to plug it in to make sure it worked. But I don't need one, do I? I have a Kitchen aid with all the attachments, hmm. BUT....... when you flip houses you keep a running list in your head and Kim had said a few months ago she would love to have a heavy mixer but the price.......sold of course. 

David is not affected by all of this since he works by himself, my office is closed to the public and we are essentially working from home. All of my appointments have been cancelled, no dentist, no eye doctor. Fortunately I had my eye appointment a few weeks prior and the pressure in both are still very good. They did most of the testing then, there were just a couple they were going to do on a separate appointment, no big. The weather is off and on rain, but I've managed to get some yard work done, I've cleaned and sorted, swept, mopped and waxed the floors. Hopefully we will be done by Easter, I was really looking foward to seeing the girls